Through this blog MEWC hopes to provide a platform for African women and other individuals interested in women’s rights issues in Africa to share their views and opinions on the human rights status of women in Africa.
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Disclaimer: Opinions and ideas expressed in the blog do not necessarily reflect the position of MEWC.
By Naomi Ndifon
Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is a global pandemic. Race, ethnicity and/or nationality have not insulated women of different age groups from the ongoing scourge of violence in all its forms. Surveys show that 1 in 3 women globally has experienced sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. In Nigeria, where the criminal justice system, put in place to combat this crisis, is rigged with patriarchy and culture overrides constitution, these numbers have drastically escalated.
CEDAW: To fight against or collaborate with culture?
There are many definitions and aspects of culture; Kroeber and Kluchhohn synthesised these to form a useful, overall definition: “Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of an for behaviour acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of tradition (i.e., historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other as condition elements of further action.”
By Lily Biddell
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on pregnant people seeking abortion all over the world. Access to abortion varies widely and is country specific; from tight restrictions which completely ban abortion (such as in Angola and Iraq) or allow it only to save the mother’s life (Mali and Brazil), to terminations on demand until the point of viability (the UK and the Netherlands). Covid-19 lockdowns, curfews and social distancing measures have impacted abortion access majorly, causing over 5000 reproductive health clinics across the world to close. The impact has been particularly detrimental in Kenya, a country where already 43% of pregnancies are unintended. Unintended pregnancy has two main outcomes: unsafe abortion and unplanned births.
By Chisom Onyekwere
Defining Political Participation
Political participation, to begin with, is the exercising of one’s right to vote, and participate in elections and public life without any discrimination. It comprises a broad range of activities through which people develop and express their opinions on the world and how it is governed, and try to take part in and shape the decisions that affect their lives. These activities take the form of mobilization and formation of interest groups to further a goal or an ideology. It is imperative that every individual present must be granted full access to political participation so that society can be aptly representative of the peoples dwelling in it.
By Chisom Onyekwere
Women and Political Participation
Why are women, who make up “49.6%” of the world’s population, deprived of the opportunity to equally politically participate for the common good?
By: Umaimah Adan
On May 25, 2020, Derek Chauvin, a White Police Officer brutally murdered George Floyd an unarmed Black man who was accused of using counterfeit bills (The Associated Press, 2020). Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. He has since been charged with second and third degree murder as well as manslaughter.
Media reports citing data from a government-managed health information system have stated that up to 4,000 adolescent girls may have visited health facilities for antenatal services in the county of Machakos alone between January and May. The figure for the whole country, it is feared, may run into several thousands.
By Haleemah Shajira
Across Northern Africa, there are various legalities and practices surrounding abortion access. The Maputo Protocol, which was adopted in Maputo, Mozambique in 2003, calls for women’s rights and girls’ rights. Countries are at varying stages of signing and ratifying the Maputo Protocol.
By: Natalie Czarnota
Widows are often thought of as elderly women, but many women are widowed at young ages too. One in 10 African women over 15 years of age are widows. This number is significant because when a woman’s husband dies, she faces danger in many African communities. Widows face discriminatory and harmful treatment perpetrated by the community. Many of the practices involving widows are classified as inhuman, humiliating and degrading.
By Natalie Czarnota
“The Year of the Refugees”